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Need help with incubation

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello, I am relatively new to incubating eggs. Standard sized chicken eggs to be exact. My problem is getting them to hatch. I have 3 hatches under my belt and almost every egg that goes into lockdown that doesn't hatch has a fully developped chick that never pipped internally inside when I do an eggtopsy. It's been like this on all three of my hatches. First was a 65% hatch rate on shipped eggs that travelled a short distance, second was 55% with shipped eggs over a great distance, and third was local bought eggs with a 57% hatch rate. What do these 3 hatches have in commun dead fully developed chicks that did not hatch and a rotten egg smell coming from incubator at days 20-22 I have found that not all eggs that did not hatch are rotten 1 or 2 in each of the 3 hatches were actually stinky. Humidity I try and keep at 40% from days 1-18 and 60-65% humidity from 18-21. Temperature 99.5-100.5 with my brinsea spotcheck. My hygrometer also calibrated and it is on the mark. Incubator and hatcher a hovabator 2362E with electronic thermostat,fan, and auto turner. What am I doing wrong is it too much bacteria in my bator killing the chicks? I mean I thought I would get 85% or better with the local eggs this week but am very disapointed.

post #2 of 9

Did you candle at all to track aircell development?

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yes I candled a lot in the first 2 hatches, the air cells looked on par with the diagrams I have seen online. The last hatch at 40% humidity I candled less I candled day 7 to remove infertiles, and on day 14. Day 14 to me looked a bit like a day 10-12. When the chicks started to hatch i found the pip a bit higher(closer to fat end of egg) on the egg than the 2 last hatches. 

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I talked to a local who incubates more often than I, he thinks it could be a bacteria issue. I add water to my troughs about every 3-4 days when it is getting low, could this water be getting contaminated over the 21 days. I use only distilled water.

post #5 of 9

How well did you disinfect your incubator before setting new eggs?

It sounds like you need to be tracking those air cells better. The last hatch probably didn't pip right because the egg didn't lose enough moisture. Candling and marking the air cells would have revealed the issue and you would have been able to adjust your humidity accordingly.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

I had virkoned it last year before putting it back in its box for storage I did not clean it again after taking it out of storage. I will mark the air cells next time with a pencil at 7, 14, and 18 days but I am not a fan of opening and closing the bator. Could this be the reason for them not hatching?

post #7 of 9

Did you at least clean it out between batches of eggs? Seriously. At least wipe it down after each hatch. That's basic incubation 101. Make sure the environment is clean.

Opening up the incubator will not hurt anything. Broodies get off the nest for about a half hour or longer every single day. 

Another issue could be not enough oxygen.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yes cleaned with virkon and left in the sun for a day to dry out between hatches. My vent holes I leave un plugged. The broodies getting off the eggs does make a lot of sense and they beat most elctronic bators any day.

Edited by tbone303 - 3/13/16 at 7:25pm
post #9 of 9

Then your issue is most likely related to humidity levels. If an egg doesn't lose enough moisture during incubation, the air cell doesn't grow big enough, and the chick can drown in the egg before ever getting a chance to pip.

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